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State & National Updates

U.S. Supreme Court Stays EPA’s Clean Power Plan

In a highly unusual move, the U.S. Supreme Court last night halted implementation of the Clean Power Plan Rule, which requires states to reduce carbon dioxide emission from power plants located within their borders.


While the rule is supposed to focus on power plants, EPA’s emission reduction requirements are so stringent that states will have to use a variety of mechanisms to meet them.


Because EPA has encouraged states to use building energy efficiency, including the imposition of building codes, as a way to comply with these targets, NAHB has been engaged on this rule from the beginning, filing comments that significantly improved EPA’s treatment of energy efficiency in the final rule.


However, because incentives remain for states to use energy efficiency to meet these onerous requirements, NAHB, along with many other parties, filed a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the rule.


The states and some industry groups asked the D.C. Circuit to halt implementation of the rule while it is being litigated. The court refused, and these groups then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay the rule.


The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, granted these groups’ requests. States will now be relieved of taking action immediately to try and meet the rule’s deadlines, and can instead hold off until after the courts have decided whether the rule is legal, which likewise provides relief for impacted industries as well, including NAHB’s members.